Editorial: National Party J.U.I F Nexus Malik Siraj Akbar, The Baloch Hal
The N.P. has not set a very good precedence for the Baloch nationalists by supporting the J.U.I. against a Baloch nationalist political party.
The National Party (N.P.) has taken a dramatic decision to support the right-wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (J.U.I.-Fazal) in Khuzdar district against the candidate of the Balochistan National Party (B.N.P.-Mengal). This move has attracted considerable criticism from Baloch nationalist quarters for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the J.U.I.-F was a part and parcel of the past two provincial governments responsible for the killing of Baloch people and carrying out deadly military operations in the province.
Secondly, it maintains close contacts with the Taliban and provides them shelter inside Balochistan. The formation of any kind of election alliance or seat-to-seat adjustment with J.U.I-F amounts to encouraging religious parties in Baloch areas. It is not a very healthy sign at a time when Balochistan is witnessing an extraordinary rise in Sunni extremism in the wake of the unabated attacks on the Shia, Hazara community in Quetta. The Baloch nationalists should in fact play a pivotal role in weakening and defeating religious parties instead of consolidating their grip over the province.
Thirdly, the two major Baloch nationalist parties, the B.N.P. and the N.P. should assist each other in winning the elections instead of pitting candidates and supporting religious elements against each other. Right now, Baloch secular parties should stay united if they want to stage a political comeback after the elections in order to change the political landscape of the province.
Jamil Akbar Bugti, a son of the late Nawab Akbar Bugti, has strongly objected to N.P.’s support for the J.U.I. In a statement published in local newspapers, Mr. Bugti asked the Baloch parties to refrain from using his late father’s name in the election campaigns. He alleged that the J.U.I. was equally responsible for the killing of his father and, he maintained, the N.P. had joined hands with the murderers of Nawab Bugti. Hence, Mr. Bugti, who lives in Quetta, appealed to the N.P. not to run an election campaign in the name of Nawab Bugti, who was killed in mysterious circumstances in 2006 by the General Musharraf regime.
On its part, the N.P., has defended its decision by saying that the latter did not respond positively to repeated offers of electoral cooperation with the National Party. The N.P. senior leader and the former senator Hasil Khan Bizenjo said that his party was very keen and committed to the idea of brokering an electoral alliance with the B.N.P. but negotiations between the two parties did not succeed because the B.N.P. wanted more seats in the parliament.